Don’t Enjoy the Journey, Enjoy the Things

I can't be a Buddhist if I think that THINGS are good, huh? Ah well.

(This blog is the English translation of this week’s primary blog, which was originally written in Spanish.)

There’s a common piece of advice for language learning (and perhaps learning anything) that you should enjoy the journey. The end goal is fine and it’s important to have one, but you shouldn’t worry about the goal, rather you should focus on the journey that you’re undertaking. After all, you’ll be on the path for a very long time, you know?

And, well, I agree, more or less. Goals can be a good thing, because learning something without a finish line feels like traveling aimlessly. That can feel frustrating and hopeless, because you don’t know what you should do, nor how far you have come. Having a goal and knowing how to judge your level along the way is very important. But, I think the idea of ​​“enjoying the journey” is useless. You shouldn’t focus on the path, the path can be hard and boring, and it’s so, so long. Maybe you can enjoy the journey in the first month. Maybe in the tenth. But in the twentieth? The thirty-second? Advice to “enjoy them” starts to sound hollow.

No, I believe there isn’t much value trying to enjoy the journey. You should try to enjoy the things.

A few weeks ago I was struggling with a sense of hopelessness and frustration, because I wasn’t enjoy ing the books I was reading. I wanted to finish them, because I don’t like giving up, especially when it comes to books, so I fought to finish them. And I did it, but I wasn’t contented, and that feeling made me glum. Had I lost my motivation? Should I stop working on Spanish because I’d never want to study it again?

Of course not, it’s just that I didn’t like those books. They were good books, I guess, but not my style. I was enjoying the youtube shows and channels, but I structure this learning project around the reading, and when I don’t like the reading, I don’t like the learning.

I’ll finish Mago Aprendiz by Raymond Feist pretty soon, and I’m grateful that there are thirty books in the series, because I am enjoying the book and I want more with the world and the characters. And, most importantly, I don’t feel down or aimless, but rather I can enjoy the journey. Not on the road itself, by the by, because the road itself is long, flat, and slow. No, I can enjoy it because I have a good book to keep me company.

Welp, let’s look at this week’s numbers.

Tuesday 2/11

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 6% of Mago Aprendiz, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Radio Ambulante, 1 episode of Fancylooks, 1 episode of Ducktales, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Wednesday 2/12

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 6% of Mago Aprendiz, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episodes of Kiwillius, 1 episode of Fancylooks, 1 episode of Ducktales, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Thursday 2/13

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 6% of Mago Aprendiz, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Kiwillius, 1 episode of Daniel San GMR, 1 episode of Ducktales, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Friday 2/14

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 6% of Mago Aprendiz, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Carole & Tuesday, 1 episode of Daniel San GMR, 1 episode of Andrea Ga, 1 episode of Mundo N, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Saturday 2/15

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 2% of Mago Aprendiz, ~30 minutes
  • Writing: ~1000 words written, ~120 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Sunday 2/16

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 4% of Mago Aprendiz, ~60 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Kiwillius, ~90 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Monday 2/17

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 4% of Mago Aprendiz, ~60 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of La Zona Cero, 2 episodes of Daniel San GMR, ~90 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes
  • Total Duolingo: 140 XP, 0 minutes
  • Total reading: 1/3 books read, 510 minutes
  • Total watching/listening: 12 YouTube episodes, 1 podcast, and 4 tv episodes, 420 minutes
  • Total writing: 1000 words written, 120 minutes
  • Total speaking: reading out loud, 210 minutes
  • Total Time: 17 hours 30 minutes

It was a good week. I’ve been watching more of youtube this week than the last few weeks, since I finished Bojack Horseman and Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts. I like Netflix series, but I always come back to youtube. I am still watching Ducktales for now. I liked it when I first saw it, but I only saw a few episodes.  I’ve now seen more of it than I had before, and … it’s strange. The show’s good, really, especially the characters (and especially Rosita/Webbigail, who was flat and boring in the nineties series, and is now the best character in the show), but I think Netflix is spoiling me. The episodes are serialized, with no link between them, and compared to something like Bojack Horseman, it’s, well, a little disappointing. I still like it, but I hope the plot threads bear fruit.

Other than that, there isn’t much to discuss. I feel better after last week. I was vague in that blog about the subject of my feelings because I needed to process them. Well, what happened was that my cat died. I’d had that cat for fourteen or fifteen years, since before my divorce, and I didn’t know how to let her go. I still don’t know how. But, as I said last week, while I may feel sad now, I can get over it. I miss her still, and I’m probably going to miss her for a while, but that isn’t killing me. Life goes on, you know? Okay, this is depressing, and I don’t feel that down. Goodbye, Zenith, you were my favorite cat, I love you and I miss you. Hopefully there’s a lot of salmon and warm laps, wherever you are.

Ok, enough of that, I swear I’m not feeling so gloomy all the time. I miss my kitty, but life goes on, and I can still enjoy it. I have some exciting plans in the coming weeks, and I’m not going to wallow in depression forever. There is too much to do. So then, that’s it, TTFN.

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